AJ100 Reports Rise in Number of Female Architects

© Robert Venturi

The AJ100, the annual survey of the UK‘s 100 largest architecture firms by the Architect’s Journal, has shown a noticeable rise in the number of women in the top practices over the past year. The proportion of women in the surveyed practices rose from 25% in 2013 to 28% this year, with an even more marked increase in the top 10 firms: from 22.7% to 27.5%. Though there is still a significant discrepancy in the ratio of men to women, this marked increase is a positive step. Find out more about which practices are leading the way, and what methods they are using to encourage gender diversity at the Architects’ Journal.

Sydney Pushes First-Ever Policy to Promote Culture

© Flickr - User: Jong Soo (Peter) Lee

The City of has requested that 1.6 million square meters of empty commercial and residential space be made available to artists for “creative activities.” The proposed cultural offers over 120 ideas in which the space can be used to enhance ’s reputation as a world renowned creative city. “The City is proud to spend more than $34 million each year to support the arts, culture and creative activity in – but we know it is equally important to create an environment where ideas and imagination can flourish.” More information on the new policy can be found here

Venice Biennale 2014: The Evolution of Brazilian Architecture to be on Display

© Cristiano Mascaro

Chosen to curate the Brazilian contribution at the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale, diplomat and architecture critic André Aranha Corrêa do Lago has revealed plans for an that will chronologically illustrate the evolution of Brazilian architecture.

180 projects will be exhibited, all of which have either played a significant role in the country’s architectural evolution, such as the pre-Colombian (Indian shacks), vernacular constructions and baroque designs, or have displayed a strong international influence, like the Capanema Palace, Pampulha and Brasília. In addition to this, 50 important personalities, including Lucio Costa, Oscar Niemeyer, Lina Bo Bardi, and Paulo Mendes da Rocha, will be highlighted for their assistance in spotlighting the importance of Brazilian architecture.

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Toyo Ito and Fumihiko Maki Petition Against Zaha Hadid’s Tokyo Olympic Stadium

© ZHA

Though it seemed a compromise was met last October, when Japan’s minister of education, Hakubun Shimomura announced plans to reduce the cost and scale of the Zaha Hadid-designed Tokyo Olympic Stadium, the debate rages on.  

Pritzker laureates and have launched an online petition to “defend the ginko tree-lined landscape of blue sky and Jingu Outer Gardens” from the construction of Hadid’s “oversized” stadium. 

The petition (now with more than 13,000 signatures) urges the Japan Sports Council, who hand selected Hadid’s winning design alongside Tadao Ando, to reconsider upgrading the existing Meiji Jingo Gaien Stadium and the gardens surrounding it. This solution, they believe, is a more affordable and sustainable alternative that would prevent the relocation of nearby residents. 

Take a tour though Zaha Hadid’s 2020 Olympic Stadium and share your thoughts about the design (and petition), after the break…

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Study Shows Green Office Buildings Don’t Make Happier Workers

Graphic from our infographic. © Megan Jett. . Image

Have you ever wondered if you would be happier working in a LEED building? Wonder no more – a new study says no. Although the findings indicate employees are generally satisfied with working in green-certified buildings, they are no happier than they would be in a non-LEED building. The study, which contradicts previous findings, was conducted by Sergio Altomonte from the Department for Architecture and Built Environment at the University of Nottingham and Stefano Schiavon from the Center for the Built Environment at the University of California Berkeley. 

To arrive at this conclusion, data was collected through a web-based survey tool by the Center for the Built Environment (CBE) at the University of California Berkeley. In total, 65 LEED and 79 non-LEED buildings were selected to participate in the study. Building occupants were surveyed and asked to rate their satisfaction on a 7-point scale of 17 indoor environmental quality parameters, including amount of light, furniture adjustability, air quality, temperature, and sound privacy. 

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Colorful Pop-Up Pavilion Forms the Centerpiece for Camden Create Festival

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As part of a new three-day festival in the London borough of CamdenKSR Architects have designed a brightly colored pop-up pavilion for the famous Britannia Junction. The festival’s centerpiece is made up of 640 fluorescent tubes hanging from a stage truss system to make a colossal wind chime, animating the area with movement, color and sound.

Read more about the pavilion and the festival, and see more images after the break

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UNStudio Selected For Fifth West Kowloon Venue

Foster + Partners’ now abandoned ‘City Park’ Masterplan for West Kowloon Cultural District. Image © Foster + Partners

The West Kowloon Cultural District Authority has selected UNStudio, in collaboration with AD+RG, to design its fifth major arts venue, the Lyric Theatre, which will sit alongside Herzog & de Meuron‘s planned M+ arts venue at the Western end of the Cultural District. The 1,200-seat theatre will be Hong Kong‘s first world class dance performance venue for ballet, contemporary and Chinese dance. It will also temporarily serve as a venue for drama, opera and musical performances during the construction of the other venues in West Kowloon Cultural District.

Read on after the break for more on the West Kowloon Cultural District and ’s appointment.

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RIBA Norman Foster Travelling Scholarship Awarded to Student Investigating Climate Change

Buffer Landscapes 2060. Image © Joe Paxton; Courtesy of Foster + Partners

Joe Paxton of the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London, was awarded the 2014 for his proposal “Buffer Landscapes 2060.” The £6,000 travel grant will enable him to study the impact of climate change in a number of locations, ultimately to propose some measures that might mitigate the threat of floods, droughts, melting glaciers and rising temperatures. A comment from Foster, after the break…

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HR Giger, Swiss Architect & Visual Mind Behind “Alien,” Dies

MUSEUM HR GIGER BAR in Château St. Germain, Gruyères, Switzerland. Image © Richard McMullen / flickr user johnleespider

HR Giger, the Swiss artist and designer who inspired and helped craft the visuals for the Ridley Scott film Alien, has died at the age of 74, The Guardian reports. Although he studied architecture and industrial design in Zurich, Giger never entered the profession, but used his spatial know-how to help design dark interiors in both the real and cinematic worlds.

Giger was even hired by Alexandar Jodorowsky in 1975 to design the world for an (unrealized) adaptation of the novel Dune. In Giger’s words: ”My planet was ruled by evil, a place where black magic was practiced, aggressions were let loose, and intemperance and perversion were the order of the day. Just the place for me, in fact.” More about Giger’s life and work at The Guardian.

Grafting Architecture: Catalonia at Venice

Convent de Sant Francesc / David Closes. Image © Jordi Surroca; Courtesy of Institut Ramon Llull

is returning for the second time to the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale with the Arquitectures Empeltades / Grafting Architecture. Referencing the botanical process of grafting, the proposal seeks to elucidate the changes taking place in contemporary Catalan architecture by highlighting processes in which “living traditions” are being updated as new.

More on “Grafting Architecture” after the break…

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Monditalia Tweets First Peek of Venice Biennale Exhibition

The Monditalia team has treated us to a sneak preview of what one can expect to see in the Arsenale when the Venice Biennale launches early next month. The forms one of the three main parts of this year’s Rem Koolhaas-led Biennale. To keep you up-to-date on all the latest Biennale coverage, we’re holding a #CountdownVenice2014 – so be sure to follow ArchDaily on Twitter!

J. Mayer H. Wins Competition to Design Berlin “Experience Center”

© J. Mayer H.

J. Mayer H. has won an invited competition to design “Volt ,” a new “shopping and urban experience” center near ’s Alexanderplatz. The winning scheme offers a variety of experiential offerings, including multi-brand shopping, an indoor skydiving and event space, and a 7,500 square meter hotel, all within a single cubed complex whose organization is based off an uneven grid.

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Parlour Fights Gender Inequality in Architecture with Comprehensive Guidelines

Courtesy of

As the fastidious debate about why women leave the architecture profession rages on, Parlour has proactively released a set of guides – which they have been working on since 2011 – “to promote more equitable working conditions within the industry.” 

In Australia, architecture graduates are split equally between the genders, but only 20% of registered architects are female – a statistic which resonates in other countries. In the United states, for example, women make up over 40% of architecture students, but only 23% of the profession. This disparity has proven difficult to explain because all too often women and men are lumped into uniform categories, all with the same wants and needs. Fortunately, Parlour’s research team took a more comprehensive approach to the creation of their guides, understanding that “there is no one reason for women’s significant under representation in architecture and no one solution.” Each of the guides explained, after the break.

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AIANY Denounces RIBA’s Israel Motion

The motion by is a response to architecture’s role in the occupation of Palestine. Image © Rianne Van Doevern via Flickr CC User The Advocacy Project

The New York chapter of the AIA has officially voiced its objection to a proposal by the RIBA to suspend the Israeli Association of United Architects (IAUA) from the International Union of Architects (UIA). A letter drafted by AIANY President Lance Jay Brown and Chief Executive Rick Bell, and unanimously approved by AIANY’s board of directors, states that “the UIA’s stated goal is to unite the architects of the world without any form of discrimination”, and refers to the proposal to suspend the IAUA as “directly antithetical to the purpose of the much appreciated umbrella organization”.

The original proposal by the RIBA, adopted on March 19th, condemns the IAUA for its failure to “resist projects on illegally-occupied land” in the West Bank and Gaza, and calls on the UIA to suspend the body until it “acts to resist these illegal projects, and observes international law, and the UIA Accords and Resolution 13.”

Read on for more on the controversial backstory to the RIBA’s motion

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Concerns Over Privacy as Shard’s Hotel Offers Guests Unexpected Views

© Flickr CC User Patrick Collins

Since opening to the public last week, guests at the Shard‘s Shangri-La Hotel have been discovering that the building offers crystal clear views of more than just London. At night, the glass panels which extend beyond the edge of the floor plates and give the building its characteristic crystalline appearance act as mirrors, offering views into neighboring rooms. The Financial Times reports that when they visited, “guests in the neighbouring room were clearly visible as they prepared for bed.” You can read more on the story (and see proof of the effect) on the Financial Times.

Libeskind Selected to Design Canadian National Holocaust Monument

Daniel Libeskind’s “elongated Star of David” has been announced today, the architect’s 67th birthday, as the winner of an international design competition for Canada’s National Holocaust Monument. Selected from a shortlist of six, the winning ”Landscape of Loss, Memory and Survival” monument is expected to be constructed in the Canadian capital of on the corner of Wellington and Booth Streets sometime next year. 

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Feilden Clegg Bradley to Design Biological Research Labs in Scotland

Courtesy of Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios (FCBS) has been awarded first prize in a competition to design a new facility hub and two laboratory buildings at the University of ’s School of Biological Sciences. The commission, FCBS’ first in Scotland, will also include the modernization of an existing 10-story laboratory tower which was built in the 1960s at the University’s Kings Building Campus.

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Plans Underway for “Russian Tate Modern”

Bakhmetevsky Bus Garage via Wikimedia Commons

Rumor has it that Constructivist architect Konstantin Melnikov’s Bakhmetevsky bus garage may soon be transformed into Moscow’s prime modern art gallery. An “equivalent to London’s Tate Modern,” as the Calvert Journal describes, the historic 1927 structure has been said to be the most likely location for the new museum, dubbed “.”